Patt Morrison for July 3, 2012

How much vacation time does the President deserve?

US President Barack Obama eats a shave i

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

US President Barack Obama eats a shave ice alongside his daughter Sasha (L) at Island Snow in Kailua, Hawaii, January 3, 2011, on the last day of his two-week vacation.

Romney 2012

Charles Dharapak/AP

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and wife Ann Romney ride a jet ski on Lake Winnipesaukee in Wolfeboro, N.H., Monday, July 2, 2012, where Romney has a vacation home.

Presidents often get criticized for taking too many days away from the White House, but the presidential vacation has become almost an extension of the that leader’s personality, for better or worse.

To their critics, Teddy Roosevelt shirked his responsibilities by going bear hunting and traipsing around Yosemite National Park with John Muir, John F. Kennedy skipped town and headed to Hyannisport, Massachusetts for too much down time, George W. Bush spent weeks clearing brush on his ranch in Texas and Obama spends too much time eating shaved ice in Hawaii.

And what about presidential candidates? Does Mitt Romney have time to ride around on a jet ski 18 weeks from election day?


Being the leader of the free world is hard work, so why does the president take so much flak for taking a few days away from the office?


Ethan Trex, author and contributor to mental floss magazine

blog comments powered by Disqus